Backup Individual Tables rather than the whole database?
I want to backup a handful of tables onto a USB drive. Most of the tables are inconsequential, only a small subset of the tables are needed, and the whole database is too big to back up this way. What's the best way to do this (for either SQL-2005 or SQL-2008)?
The most direct and likely easiest way is to export them into a different data format. Of course there are a number of ways of doing this, but perhaps the easiest is using BCP into CSV files. If you want to maintain more of the structure such as data types, you can use SSIS or something similar to export to an Access or Excel file. This method will lose some of the schema and meta data associated with it, but if you are focused on only a few tables you are probably most (or even solely) concerned with the data. Another alternative if you want to perfectly maintain the schema, indexes, and other metadata is to create another database as an intermediate step, copy the tables there, and back that up.